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Books to Kickoff Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

Books to Kickoff Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

Latinx Heritage Month, also referred to as Hispanic Heritage Month officially begins on September 15th and runs through October 15th.  You may be wondering, “why a mid-month start date?”  Well since you asked, the 15th coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica). 

What better way to honor Latinx culture and history with kids than through great books?  We’ve corralled some great informative, inspiring, and just plain fun books that recognize a range of voices and stories within Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities.  These books are great for readers young and old and are sure to be a hit not just this month but every month.  

Disclaimer: We use some affiliate links for Bookshop and will make a cent or two if you buy using these links. It’s a great way to support local bookstores.

The Afro-Latino Alphabet/El Alfabeto de Afro-Latino by Keaira & José Faña-Ruiz

Get ready to practice your Spanish ABCs, en Español of course. Celebrate with us as we pay homage to the Afro-Latino Culture. A culture full of rich history, champions, strength, variety, pride, and color. (Ages 3+)

Counting with Ché by  Jose & Keaira Faña-Ruiz

Get ready to practice your Spanish numbers from Uno to Diez with this dual-language book.

Inspired by the author’s childhood growing up on a farm in Moca, Dominican Republic with his grandmother, Mama Ramonita. (Ages 2-7)

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina, Sonia Sanchez

Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela’s best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other: Daniela with her mami and hamster, and Evelyn with her mami, papi, and cat. But not after today–not after Evelyn moves away. Until then, the girls play amid the moving boxes until it’s time to say goodbye, making promises to keep in touch, because they know that their friendship will always be special.  (Ages 4-8)

One Whole Me by Dia Mixon

Being bicultural is a wonderful thing!  Follow along as a Colombian-American child embraces both cultures that make him unique.  Written in a blend of Spanish and English showcases language, food, family, music, and more.  It will inspire children to be proud of who they are and never forget what makes them special!  (Ages 4-8)

Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz, Micah Player

Ring! Ring! Ring! Can you hear his call? Paletas for one! Paletas for all!

What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? Run quick and find Paletero José!

Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator’s pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now.  (Ages 4-8)

Mango, Abuela and Me by Meg Medina

Rafa Counts on Papá by  Joe Cepeda

Rafa and his papá love to count and measure together.  They know how many branches they climb to their favorite spot, they know how high their dog Euclid can jump, and they know how far they can run.  But there’s one thing Rafa can’t count or measure because it’s infinite: the love that he and his papá share. (Ages 4-8)



Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.  (Ages 4-8)


Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Señoras y señores, put your hands together for the fantastic, spectacular, one of a kind . . . Niño!

Fwap! Slish! Bloop! Krunch! He takes down his competition in a single move!

No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño–popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor!

Niño Wrestles the World is in English with Spanish vocabulary and is a fun, colorful story about a boy wrestling with imaginary monsters (including an Olmec Head and La Llorona) and adversaries like his younger sisters. This is a joyful picture book about imagination, play, and siblings. (Ages 4-8)



Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star by Lesa Cline Ransome

How did a poor boy named Edson-who kicked rocks down roads and dribbled balls made from rags-go on to become the greatest soccer player of all time?  Here’s the story of the boy who with great determination, lightning speed, and amazing skill overcame tremendous odds to become the world champion soccer star, Pelé. (Ages 6-9)

Camilla: The Record-Breaking Star by Alicia Salazar

After reading about kid record-breakers, Camila dreams of breaking a record of her own.  But which world record should she tackle?  No matter what she tries, Camila finds that breaking records is hard.  Will she ever become a record-breaking start? 

If your reader loves this one, they can also try Camila: The Stage Star.  (Ages 5-7)

CoCo: A Family Mystery (Step into Reading) by  Sara Hernandez

Perfect for kids that are ready to read on their own or those who loved watching this story in the film.

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on much, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz.  Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events.  Along the way, he meets a charming trickster Hector and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. (Ages 4-6)

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

When her family moved to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez was excited about enrolling in her neighborhood school. But she and her brothers were turned away and told they had to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia could not understand why–she was an American citizen who spoke perfect English. Why were the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decided to take matters into its own hands and organize a lawsuit. (Ages 6-9)

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

Juana is a spunky young Colombian girl who stars in this playful, abundantly illustrated series. Juana loves many things: drawing, living in Bogotá, Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or learning English. Why is it so important to learn a language that makes so little sense? Hilarious, energetic, and utterly relatable, Juana will win over los corazones (the hearts) of readers everywhere. (Ages 5-8)

She Persisted: Sonia Sotomayor by Meg Medina 

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in the history of the United States, but her road there wasn’t easy. She overcame many challenges along the way, including a diagnosis of diabetes at age seven. But she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dream and inspiring children all over the world to work hard and believe in themselves. (Ages 6-9) 

Stella Diaz Never Gives Up  by Angela Dominguez

Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit her family in Mexico.  Stella loves marine animals and can’t wait to see the ocean for the first time…until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution.

Stella wants to save the ocean but knows she can’t do it alone.  It’s going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Diaz never gives up. (Ages 6-9) 

Miles Morales: Shock Waves ( Original Spider-Man Graphic Novel)by Justin A. Reynolds

Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man.  After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother’s birthplace in Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island.  But when a new student’s father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles’ fundraiser. Who is behind the disappearance, and how does that relate to Spider-Man?  (Ages 7-13) 

Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Naomi Soledad León had a lot to contend with in her young life, her name for one.  Then there are her clothes (sewn in polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as “nobody special.”  But according to Gram’s self-prophecies, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking.  Luckily, Naomi also has her carving to strengthen her spirit.  And life with Gram and her little brother, Owen, is happy and peaceful.  That is, until their mother reappears for the first time in seven years, stirring up all sorts of questions and challenging Naomi to discover who she really is.  (Ages 8-12) 

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?

When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. (
Ages 8-12)


Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes

Can Lety find her voice before it’s too late?  Lety Muñoz’s first language is Spanish, and she likes to take her time putting her words together.  She loves volunteering at the animal shelter because the dogs and cats there don’t care if she can’t always find the right words.  When the shelter needs a volunteer to write animal profiles, Lety jumps at the chance.  But classmate Hunter also wants to write profiles-so he devises a competition to determine the official shelter scribe.  Whoever gets their animals adopted the fastest wins.  Lety agrees, but she’s worried that if the shelter finds out about the contest, they’ll kick her out of the volunteer program.  Then she’ll never be able to adopt Spike, her favorite dog at the shelter! (Ages 8-12) 

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school–you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

The real Malú loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malú finally begins to feel at home. She’ll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself! (Ages 9-12)

Merci Suárez Changes Gears  by Pablo Cartaya

Merci Suárez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different.  For starters, as strong and thoughtful as Merci is, she has never been completely like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students.  They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for the free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy.

Things aren’t going well at home either.  Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately-forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing.  And Merci is left to her own worries because no one in her family will tell her what’s going on.(Ages 8-12) 

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí. (Ages 10+) 

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya

Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you’re only in the eighth grade, you’re both a threat and a target.

After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus’s mom decides it’s time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don’t remember or have never met. But Marcus can’t focus knowing that his father–who walked out of their lives ten years ago–is somewhere on the island.

So begins Marcus’s incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn’t know if he’ll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way. (Ages 10+) 


Looking for even more options?  Head over to our Bookshop Affiliate Store.  There are hundreds of titles in our National Latinx Heritage Month” and “Books Written by Latinx Authors collections.  Happy Reading!


What are your favorite books that celebrate Latinx culture or feature Latinx/Hispanic main characters?  Drop a comment below.  




Kanika Mobley

Hi! I'm Kanika. I'm a mother and 20+ year educator. I started my career as a kindergarten teacher and fell in love with helping kids discover their reading identities. As they asked for certain books, I tried with all my might to keep the classroom library filled with high-engaging books that were both mirrors and windows for their experiences.

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